The Silverfish gets its common name for its silvery light gray or blue color and the fish-like appearance of its wiggling movements. They run quickly, stopping at short intervals, than move on rapidly.
They are also called fishmoths, bristletails, carpet sharks or paramites.
These insects cannot climb on smooth vertical surfaces and may be found trapped in sinks and bathtubs. They did not come up out of the drain – they fell in and cannot get out.
Silverfish are small (½ to ¾ inch long), wingless insects with an elongated and flat body, long antennae and three long cerci (tail-like appendages) at the tips of their abdomens.
Silverfish inhabit dark, moist areas and are found in:
- laundry rooms
- book shelves
- wall voids
- and attics.
They are nocturnal and come out at night to seek food and water.
Its scientific name "Lepisma saccharina" indicates the silverfish's diet of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches.
Silverfish feed on dead insects, household dust and debris, damp paper with glue or paste, sizing in wallpaper, book bindings, plaster and starchy substances – dry cereals, flour, pasta and pet food. They have enzymes in their stomachs that digest cellulose and they sometimes damage books and other printed paper items. They can also damage tapestries, cotton, linen, silk, and synthetics.
Silverfish live 2 to 8 years and they can live without eating for months.
Silverfish are considered nuisance pests due to their consumption and destruction of property. They are also responsible for contaminating food.
Silverfish are not known to transmit disease.
What you can do to prevent a Silverfish infestation:
- Carefully inspect all boxes, cartons, furniture that are being brought into the home.
- Keep basements, laundry rooms and bathrooms clean and dry.
- Periodically clean out closets, cabinets and storage containers.
- Keep food in containers with tight lids.
- Periodically move collections of books and magazines around in your bookcase.
- Patch holes or spaces around pipes or conduits.
- Repair leaks and drips in plumbing.
- Repair roof leaks.
- Use de-humidifiers or ventilate closed spaces.
- Seal any cracks or crevices around the home, utility lines, doors and windows with a good caulk and apply weather stripping to doors and garages.
If you need help reducing your Silverfish infestation, give us a call!
AB-Con Termite and Pest Control
Serving South Jersey for over 40 years
Camden County, Burlington County and Gloucester County
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